The hype for major game releases is ridiculous these days. In a lot of cases we a get a tease of a game 2 whole years before it is actually released (Or 5+ years in the case of The Last Guardian). I understand the hype to promote a game from a marketing standpoint, building a clamoring fan base before the game is even released is a stroke of genius. What I’m 100 percent against however is releasing something that isn’t finished, and in doing so slapping those fans who have been supportive and vocal about their excitement for that product in the face.
The reality is games are more complicated now than they have ever been. With that there is potential for more things to go wrong. I get that, but I still believe that a game should be released as polished as possible. Patches are a nice convenience to have on consoles these days in order to fix minor issues that may arise in a game, but I don’t think that is how many developers and publishers are using them, and that worries me. It almost seems now that more often than not unfinished games are being released at their publishers deadline with the attitude of let’s make money first, and resolve these minors issues at our leisure. To the company that makes the game the issues popping up may seem minor, but to the player who’s waited 2 plus years to finally get their hands on it, it feels different. A texture popping in and out of a cut scene, characters clipping through walls, somebody’s head just straight up not loading. These kind of glitches take players out of the immersion the game world is trying to create for them, and to many it feels like a big problem.
Just over the last couple weeks news in gaming has been coming out non stop about buggy issues in major releases. Insane matchmaking delays in Halo’s Masterchief Collection, missing skins and textures in AC Unity, weird glitches in Destiny, and falling through walls, and frame rate hiccups in Sonic Boom. By the sounds of it, multiple patches are on the way for most of these games, but is that enough to clean the sour taste out of a consumers mouth who has been waiting patiently, and hyping these games up? Depends on who you are I guess, but for me personally I’m sick of it. What’s our incentive to buy games upon release nowadays if our first play through is going to be a buggy experience? I’ll gladly take a game delay any day of the week to fix these kinds of issues, over a first play through glitch ridden with bugs.
It’s sad but maybe it’s time many of us should start voting with our wallets more conservatively to prevent this influx from happening more than it is. After all we are paying premium prices to be gamers, not game testers.